Tekmira claims they are the inventors of lipid-based nano particle delivery of RNAi that works in the bloodstream. They've collaborated with Alnylam on such therapeutics for liver cancer and TTR-mediated amyloidosis.
Alnylam says it has independently developed such lipid-based delivery technology and has filed patents accordingly. Presumably, Alnylam's licensing deals with Tekmira would not apply for the delivery materials covered by Alnylam's patents. Tekmira has cried "Foul!" and has filed suit for patent infringment among other things.
"It comes down to inventorship on some patent applications filed by Alnylam," said Alan Carr, biotech analyst at Needham & Company, "And Tekmira believes that they contributed to it and that they should have at least partial ownership of it." See Xconomy Boston.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 18th 2011.